Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Amazing Spider-Man #143. The Cyclone

Amazing Spider-Man #143, the Cyclone
(Cover from April 1975.)

"And the Wind Cries: Cyclone!"

Words by Gerry Conway.
Pencils by Ross Andru.
Inks by Giacoia and Hunt.
Lettering by Artie Simek.
Colours by Jan Cohen.

"You Americans," declares our villain. "You can never keep from interfering in matters which do not concern you."

Joe Robertson, there's a man. There's a man with a son who seems to have disappeared without trace but who doesn't seem to have noticed.

Then again, perhaps he has his mind on other things. After all, if there's any doubt left that he must know Peter Parker's secret identity, it has to be gone after this issue. Why else would he ask Aunt May's favourite nephew to accompany him to France and help the kidnapped J Jonah Jameson? He's practically telling Pete to his face, "I know you're Spider-Man. That's why I need you there."

Does our hero pick up on this?


Does our hero go to France?


And, wouldn't you know it? By an incredible coincidence, the trail he has to take to follow Robbie to the kidnappers just so happens to take him past all the most famous landmarks in Paris; just like his trip to London took him to Big Ben, and his trip to Montreal took him to the Expo 67 complex. Although, in this case, one of the sites of Paris seems to be the Parc des Princes, which must have been brand new in 1975, so at least there's one bit of originality in there.

As for the villain of the piece, we can tell the Cyclone's French because he looks down his nose at Americans. So, no stereotyping there then. Oh well, at least Gerry Conway resists the temptation to have him yell out, "Zut Alors!" in times of stress. So comics must be getting more sophisticated.

Speaking of getting, "sophisticated," Pete and Mary Jane are getting a bit, "sophisticated," themselves as, on the domestic front, they get to share their first ever kiss. Is it really their first? I assumed they'd been all over each other like rabbits for months.

It just goes to show, in this strange and mysterious world of ours, you can never know people as well as you think you do. Well, unless you're Joe Robertson. In which case, you clearly know Peter Parker inside out.

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